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How I Use Content for Link Building

by Jon Cooper
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When most people think content for link building, they think “link attraction” (hands off link building that starts and ends with you hitting publish).

Even though that’s a strategy we all aim for (who doesn’t want links to build themselves?), that’s not how I use content for link building.

Here’s my process:

Find interest –> Create targeted content –> Smarter outreach

Essentially, I’m creating content for the purpose of better outreach. 

Here’s a quick, tangible example for revamping old content. My link building strategies post is nothing new; SEW’s post in 2002 (now updated) and Aaron Wall’s in 2006 were both on the same topic.

  1. Find interest – After checking the link profiles of both of those posts, I saw that there was a ton of people who showed interest in the form of links.
  2. Create targeted content – In this case, all I did was update the list, add to it, and overall make it 10x better.
  3. Smarter outreach – All the websites in those 2 link profiles showed interest in those posts by linking to it. When I then conducted outreach to them asking for a link, it was much more successful because I knew they’d be willing to link if the content was good enough.

Here’s another example, but with social. With a quick Topsy search, the most talked about thing in the garage doors industry is a recent story about the Navy reeking havoc on garage doors in Connecticut.

  1. Find interest – Who linked to that story? Who tweeted it? If there’s a lot of people doing both, then you’ve found a good deal of interest.
  2. Create targeted content – I could create an infographic (or video) on the science behind what happened in this particular case.
  3. Smarter outreach – I could then conduct outreach to those who linked to that post or any post on that story, as well as though who tweeted it. For those who tweeted, I could scrape a list of all the Twitter accounts, grab the URLs associated with their accounts, use the Moz API to grab their DA/PA, then sort & prioritize.

Now, it doesn’t have to be as big of a home run like those 2 above.

Here’s an example. Pat Flynn used to list other participators in his niche site challenge (he took down those links recently, but that’s not the point). I noticed this, so I did the challenge myself (it’s lame, I know; it was in my early days!).

I then got in touch with Pat, told him I did his challenge, asked him to list me with the other participators, then boom, I got links to each post in the challenge which also sent ~10 visitors a day.

In this case, the interest I found was just one prospect, but since the value was there and I was sure I could get the links, I went through with it.

The point of this post

I want to emphasize this once more. You can do so much more with content than just creating it and hoping that it will net you some links.

Instead, find tangible examples of people showing interest in your content BEFORE you create it, then once you have something awesome, conduct outreach asking them for a link. They’ve already showed they’ll link to it!

Understand that this strategy is based off hustle. You have to push yourself to continuously look for these content ideas, find them then actually ACT on them, and finally work your ass off to mine every opportunity it opens up that’s worth your time.

Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below.

Want more? Check out my link building course and follow me on Twitter.

This post was written by...

Jon Cooper – who has written 121 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Jon Cooper+ is an SEO consultant based out of Gainesville, FL who specializes in link building. For more information on him and Point Blank SEO, visit the about page. Follow him on Twitter.

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